Father’s Day and you don’t have one worth celebrating
22 Sep 2015
Another year, another Father’s Day without a father.
Warning, this post contains content that may be upsetting for some.
Father’s Day isn’t always happy times with perfect dads chasing after their little ones. It can also stir up emotions for some of us.
You see those children celebrating how wonderful their dads are, and the well deserving fathers enjoying their special day.
There are the children mourning their fathers. So many that have tragically lost amazing dads and Father’s Day is especially hard for them. There’s the fathers who aren’t able to see their children, and there’s the mourning father’s who have devastatingly lost a child too.
And then… there’s us – The children of the fathers that have neglected us, rejected us, hurt us, treated us like crap, who are, quite frankly, arseholes.
I see the happy families and smile. I am one of them.
My husband is the most wonderful father to our daughter that I could ever ask for. Their relationship is so beautiful to see. She has no idea how lucky she is. I smile because I am happy for them. This is how it should be for everyone. I wish I could say my father was like this, but he just isn’t.
I see the the ones who have lost their much loved fathers. I feel heart broken for them. Why did they have to lose such a devoted father? Why couldn’t they get more time with them?
And I see the rest of us and feel sad. Why couldn’t our fathers have been as good as the others. Why did we miss out? How could a man NOT be a good father? How could they not treat their children like the most precious gift there is?
In my situation, the answer is mental illness. My father was eventually diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder, but that wasn’t until later in life. Who knows what else he has? Certainly an anger management problem and an incredible compulsion to lie. Constantly. About almost anything and everything.
Growing up he was my superman! I was ‘Daddys little girl’ and I knew it.
We did lots of fun stuff together and I honestly thought he was the best dad in the world! I remember I would hear my friends make comments about how great their dads were and I would smile to myself, secretly knowing that I in fact had the best dad in the world and they were foolishly thinking that theirs was.
Cracks were appearing early on, but I was too young to even realise. My little brother, who is only 16 months younger than me, was getting treated pretty poorly by our dad. Dad was very obviously favouring me and giving my brother very little attention. So my mum was giving him extra attention and giving me very little, which was creating a big divide. It was me and dad, and mum and Max*. The scary part was, that my dad was encouraging it. He would tell me ‘I love you, but I dont love Max*, and mum loves Max*, but she doesn’t love you’ I believed him of course, but accepted the situation.
Around the age of 12 I started to realise that not only was my dad not superman, there was something very wrong. The constant negativity towards us, his children, the punching of holes in the walls when he got mad, the very rarely leaving the house, the constant paranoia that mum was cheating on him. I started distancing myself from him. He didn’t like this very much and so the next brother Jake* became his new favourite. Our relationship deteriorated, so much so, that by the time I was about 16, we didn’t even talk. We would pass each other in the house and I wouldn’t even look at him unless I had to answer a question.
Max* and I got together and told mum that we had had enough of his abuse and either he goes, or we do. We knew we were putting mum in an awkward position, but his abuse was getting worse and we knew it was only a matter of time before his wall punching actually turned on one of us.
Mum had the same concerns as us, but with three other younger children to worry about as well, she just didn’t know what to do. One night dad got really mad at Max* He completely lost it and grabbed him by the throat and put him up on the wall. His legs were dangling while he was trying to get away. Mum and I heard the cries for help and came running into the lounge room. I immediately jumped on my dads back and started punching into him. All I could think was I had to get dad to let go of him. Mum was screaming in the back ground. Dad let go and said something about Max being old enough now to fight like a man. A 15 year old boy was supposed to be big and strong enough to fight back to his 53 year old father…
This was the day that my mum said she knew dad had to go. Thank god!
She asked him to leave, but he kept putting it off. Finally the morning of Father’s Day, we woke up to little notes stuck up all over our walls. Mum quickly ripped them all down before we could read them all, but they were all goodbye notes, saying horrible things about our mum and suggesting he was going to commit suicide. We all felt so relieved that he was finally gone! I must admit, I felt a bit guilty that I was so relieved, but I really knew it was the best thing.
Unfortunately that wasn’t the last thing he did. He came back one day a few weeks later and smashed up the bungalow out the back with a pick axe. He was kind enough to do this all in front of my little sister and brother who were 3 and 5 at the time. He ripped up mum and his wedding album and threw all the photos, his tv, his exercise bike and anything he considered his, into the pool as well. He clearly didn’t feel that his notes were dramatic enough, so had to do something more ‘Final’.
All this made me start to really hate my father. I wanted absolutely nothing to do with him and didn’t for a couple of years. My other siblings apart form Max* continued to see him every second weekend, but I had no interest. Finally he contacted me by letter one day asking for my forgiveness. He sounded genuinely sorry for what he had done and had apparently had some counselling. I thought I would give him the benefit of the doubt and have dinner with him at his request. Our dinner went quite well and he was friendly, apologetic and charming. He was always very good at turning on the charm, so I was still a little skeptical. It didn’t take long for him to start showing that other side to him. He started criticising me again, pointing out flaws and subtly putting me down. So subtle that I would go home feeling crappy about myself, not realising that it was him putting those thoughts into my head again.
I soon found out about some of the ways he was treating my little siblings when they were at his house. He had kicked my youngest brother (about 8 years old at the time), out of the car multiple times and made him walk home as punishment. He was favouring my sister so obviously that the other two boys were barely getting any attention. He was putting them all down so much that they quit playing sports because he told them that they just weren’t good enough. I decided that I didn’t want him in my life any more. The negatives definitely outweighed the positives. This was a very tough decision for me and I have met people since that just can’t understand how I could wipe my father from my life, but it honestly is the best thing that I did, for me.
Sure, I think it’s a shame that I didn’t have a wonderful father to walk me down the aisle, I don’t get to see my daughter playing with her grandfather, I didn’t have a father to go to for comfort or advice, but, if I had allowed him to stay in my life, I hate to think of the emotional abuse that would’ve continued and how different a person I could’ve ended up.
So when Father’s Day comes around, I don’t get sad, I think of all the wonderful men I know that are awesome fathers, I celebrate the amazing father my husband is and the wonderful Grandfather his father is, and I honestly don’t feel I am actually missing out at all.
To those of you who can unfortunately relate to any of what I have said, I would love to hear from you. I wish I could say there aren’t many of us, but sadly I have a feeling that isn’t the case.
Kellie Claire xx
*Names have been changed